Singapore’s pioneer in Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Volocopter, has partnered with Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to launch its VoloCity public exhibition.
The exhibition brings together many firsts for Volocopter. Aside from being its first-ever-long-term public exhibition, the showcase will also feature its commercial air taxi model; a first in the Asian market.
VoloCity will take place at Aerospace Hub, ITE College Central. The focal point will be its 3D VoloPort scale model and detailed information on the UAM industry as well as Volocopter.
Visitors will also be given an opportunity to sit in the aircraft and get a sense of this new form of transportation. The public will be able to register for free guided tours on a regular basis from August 2022.
Taking its first flight
The two-seater aircrafts has a range of 35-kilometres and runs at a speed of 90-kilometres per hour. The air taxis also resemble small helicopters with multiple mini rotor blades.
Unlike regular choppers however, these electric aircrafts are a safer, quieter, and more environmentally-friendly way to travel.
The proposed flight route is over 12-kilometres, and it’s expected to be ready for launch around early-to-mid-2024. Hiring of key staff such as pilots, engineers, and service crew are expected by the end of 2023.
If approved, Volocopter’s maiden flight will take passengers from a take-off and landing area in Marina South to the Marina Reservoir and back, going over the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. It will cruise at an altitude of 100 to 150 metres, with the journey lasting approximately 15 minutes.
The aircrafts will take off and land on vertiports – named for the way the aircraft takes off and lands vertically. To construct said vertiports takes only three to four months if built on cleared land.
Another reason to be a tourist
Volocopter’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Mr Christian Bauer, addresses that the German company will focus on tourist and commercial flights, rather than as a new staple form of transport for Singaporeans.
According to him, the amount of visitors outweigh the congestion on the ground, and Volocopter’s services would value-add to Singapore’s tourism industry.
Compared to the amount it costs to charter a helicopter ride at S$2,500, Volocopter’s first flights are expected to be 70 to 75 percent cheaper.
The aim is to have between four to six of said aircrafts in Singapore and Southeast-Asia by 2030 and in the next five to seven years, make air taxis as affordable as a premium taxi ride.
Volocopter has also stated it has longer-term plans to operate cross-border air taxi trips from Singapore to Indonesia and Malaysia. In the meantime, the firm is looking to have Singapore and Paris be the first to have commercial air taxis flown in.
It is in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the European authorities. Certification is expected in early 2024.
Featured Image Credit: Voloport